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Contrasting narratives about the outcomes of the euro

I have presented to a diversity of participants at the various events we have attended in the US, UK and Europe over the last 2 weeks. One way of expressing this diversity is in terms of the type of audience. At many events, the audience has been comprised of people who would see themselves as activists on the progressive side of politics. Some have been students, others, members of Leftist political parties, local business people, and community organisations. They uniformly express concern over the state of Europe, and the Eurozone in particular. They express concern about unemployment, underemployment, precarious work, poor wages growth, welfare cuts, infrastructure degradation, and other uncertainties relating to the state of politics. I sense that some of the participants were pro-Europe and pro-euro, but, there was an overwhelming feeling that the monetary union had failed and would be difficult to retrieve. On the other hand, I have addressed events where politicians, central bankers, private bankers, finance ministry officials and the like have been the main participants. Here the message changed significantly. I heard politicians, firmly wedded to the European ideal, talk about how the Eurozone had brought unlimited benefits to the Member States and how solidarity among states and citizens enhanced by European Commission leadership was taking Europe to a new, higher level. Hello! Earth calling! It was quite an eye-opener to see how much denial there is among those who have done well from the system.

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